Virat Kohli is one of the biggest cricketing stars in the world and his status as a celebrity in India is unfathomable. His fan following in real life is crazier than what is seen on social media.
Kohli, in a recent interview with India Today, said that the fan frenzy he saw during the last Test of Sachin Tendulkar’s career was something he has never seen before.
"I still can't connect to it whether I do well or don't do well. I go to four years before this where I was and where I come from and I still get uncomfortable when so much attention comes my way. As cricketers, people say a certain line we should not cross, it applies to people who do not admire you as well. So I feel sometimes there are two extremes," Kohli told India Today.
"Either they pull back and will be hurt or go all out. I think there has to be a balance. When you look at fans in other countries they will see you and say from far away, well played and get on with their work. You appreciate that because you get a sense of your space as well,” he said.
He also gave an example of fan frenzy he has witnessed.
Virat said, "I was driving to the hotel and you don't want people to knock on your car window when you are on the road. Those are the kind of things when you think that this is getting a bit crazy. There are hundreds of cars out there and I am also driving and I am a human being too.”
He hoped that fans can understand that celebrities are human like them.
"I can't connect to the feeling they have so it gets very awkward for me. I understand their emotion, I feel very privileged when people show this kind of love for me. I am a normal person, I may be somewhere in life but we are all humans. So to receive this love is an honour. But it's a fine line and the extreme level can be controlled,” Kohli said.
Revealing the fandom he saw for Sachin Tendulkar during his last Test was something he won't forget.
Kohli said, "The craziest thing I saw was his (Tendulkar's) retirement game. And coincidentally I was sitting in the front seat of the bus. We were leaving the stadium and we saw people literally lay down on the floor and say we will not let this bus move because he cannot retire.”
He continued, "It was a frenzy and people were crying and howling and that hit me then and there actually what it means to people to see him from the outside. I had that feeling when I was younger but I had forgotten when I began playing with him. But to still understand what it means to people who don't have access to you, it was crazy, almost scary to see people lie on the main road and not let bus move. We had to literally move out to ask them to get on with it. It was an emotional moment but also showed the passion and emotion which fans express."